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Reviews > Cook and Food Storage Gear > Cook Sets > MSR Titan Kettle > Owner Review by Alexander Chard

September 30, 2008


NAME: Alexander Chard
AGE: 48
LOCATION: Peterborough, New Hampshire
HEIGHT: 5' 10" (1.78 m)
WEIGHT: 160 lb (72.60 kg)

I have been backpacking since the mid 90's with trips generally 2-10 days. I have backpacked in all seasons and conditions. I generally pack for comfort, and my shelters are usually tarp or bivy sack. Spring to fall pack weight is about 16 lbs/7 kg, and about 2 lbs/1 kg food per day. Excursions include trips in the Smokey's, White Mountains, Grand Canyon, Southern Canada and Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I consider difficult terrain and adverse conditions the ingredients for interesting and memorable excursions.


Mountain Safety Research, Inc. (MSR)
Product: MSR Titan Kettle
Year of manufacture: 2005
MSRP: $49.99 (USD)
Material: Titanium
Capacity listed .85L (28.7 oz)
Capacity measured: .85 L (28.7 oz)
Weight listed 4.2 oz (118.0 g)
Weight actual: 4.2 oz (118.0 g)


The Titan Kettle was designed for the fast and light backpacker, when weight and adaptability are desired. Although I'm not a member of the ultra-light adventure race crowd, simplicity and flexibility are always appreciated. MSR on their web site states, "Versatile enough to be a pot, mug or bowl, this lightweight and strong titanium kettle complements the Titan Cook set perfectly."

The top of the kettle has a rolled lip designed for stability and reduces the tendency to warp. The bottom has rounded edges to improve heat transfer and makes clean up easier. The body measures 3 " (93 mm) x 4 " (114 mm) diameters. No need for a pot gripper (additional weight savings) the Titan Kettle has two bent titanium wire folding handles that measure 2 " (64 mm) tall and 1 " (45 mm) and are attached by a plate with nine spot welds. The pour spout has marks indicating that the spout is stamped. There are not any markings for measurements.

The lid stays secure while pouring and spout is of sufficient size to allow hot water to flow rapidly and smooth, and weighs 1.3 oz (37 g) with a coated wire handle to prevent burns and measures 1 " (32 mm) wide x 1 " (32 mm) high. Four spot welds on a plate fastens the handle to the lid. The plate also has a small notch designed to hold the coated handle vertical for gripping. Additionally a one eighth inch (3.2 mm) hole in the lid works well for venting steam. The lid has two stampings, one is the "MSR" logo and the other reads "Titan Titanium."



Although I own another titanium pot this kettle accompanies me to many trips in the Presidential Mountains above 4,000' (1,220 m), Acadia National Park and day trips on Mount Monadnock, with temperatures from 85 F (29 C) to -5 F (-21 C). I have prepared approximately 100 plus meals in this kettle.


In the interest of full disclosure, I do not often cook food inside the Titan Kettle, however the size is ideal for boiling enough water for a 2 serving dehydrated meal, using a 600 ml, 20.3 oz titanium cup to measure the proper amount of water. If I am not cooking a dehydrated meal, the .85 L (28.7 oz) capacity provides enough boiled water to prepare a boil-in-bag packet of rice and a hot beverage. I spice the rice with beef jerky, dried tomatoes bacon bits or bouillon. I almost exclusively boil water for meals.

Personally, the simpler the better, since my two active brain cells are not always communicating I strive to minimize cleaning and accounting for other gear like a scrub pads and pot grabbers. This is how I arrived at the tap and sip breakfast, boil in bag lunch and dehydrated dinners. Breakfast, a no mess minimalist approach consists of a hot beverage, usually tea, allow to cool slightly, open instant oatmeal packet, tap out a mouthful, and swish with hot beverage. Boil in bag lunch is usually rice, placed in titanium cup and spiced to taste. When winter camping, so as not to waste the boiled water, simply add a tea bag to Titan kettle and enjoy. Dinner is hopefully self-explanatory. Three hot meals and beverages with little or no cleaning required does it get any better.

Not to imply that the Titan kettle is difficult to clean, I have cooked pasta and rice directly in the kettle, added sauces, veggies and simmered without permanently bonding food to the kettle. The stout height and 4 " (114 mm) diameter is large enough to allow easy access for my unusually large mitts (XL glove size) to clean the kettle. The photos reveal some black marks on the exterior bottom of the kettle. These are the results of several years of moderate usage and are not easily removed.

Although I have never burned food in the kettle, some hot water and a green scrub pad easily removed dried oatmeal and other starch type residues from the inside of the kettle. The key is to be able to adjust the flame. With its substantially adjustable flame, the stove I prefer is the MSR Pocket Rocket (shown in photo). I have only boiled with the Esbit stove and for me the XKG EX is an unworkable stove for simmering.



I mainly use this pot with the MSR Pocket Rocket and occasionally with Esbit solid fuel and the MSR XKG EX stoves. By placing the kettle a bit off center on the Pocket Rocket stove when boiling water, I can remove the kettle using the handles without hand protection or a pot grabber. Previously owned stainless steel pots of similar capacity required some sort of pot gripper. The lid fits so securely that even when the kettle is filled with water I must hold the handles to remove the lid.


The MSR Titan Kettle is light, sturdy easy to clean. The lid does not come off when being packed and liquids pour smoothly. As I mentioned earlier there are not any markings for measurement of liquids. Since dehydrated meals are established backpacking meals and most require about 2 cups for the 2 serving packets. I would suggest stamped marks indicating 0.25, 0.35, 0.5 and 0.6 L (approximately 1, 1 , 2 and 2 cups for my fellow US citizens) might be beneficial.

This report was created with the Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

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